The first spin-off of Netflix’s The Witcher arrives alongside a new bug-themed Shudder horror exclusive, Bob Ross gets the true-crime doc treatment and more in this week’s guide
‘The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf’ (Netflix)
Nightmare of the Wolf serves as the first official spin-off to Netflix’s smash hit adaptation of The Witcher. Escaping from poverty to become a witcher, Vesemir (Theo James) an arrogant and overzealous young man, slays monsters for coin and glory, but when a new menace rises, he must face the demons of his past. The anime inspired series has been receiving very positive early reception.
‘Mosquito State’ (Shudder)
Isolated in his austere penthouse overlooking Central Park, obsessive Wall Street data analyst Richard Boca (Beau Knapp) sees ominous patterns: His computer models are behaving erratically, as are the swarms of mosquitos breeding in his apartment, an infestation that attends his psychological meltdown. Directed by Filip Jan Rymsza, who takes great advantage of the fact that yes, mosquitos are just the absolute worst, the film serves as part unnerving insect horror and part allegory for financial crises.
‘Love and Monsters’ (Hulu)
Love and Monsters flew under the radar last year but is well worth checking out. Seven years after the apocalypse comes at the hands of giant monsters, Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien), along with the rest of humanity, has been living underground ever since the creatures took control of the land. After reconnecting over radio with his high school girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick), who is now 80 miles away at a coastal colony, Joel begins to fall for her again. As Joel realizes that there’s nothing left for him underground, he decides against all logic to venture out to Aimee, despite all the dangerous monsters that stand in his way. The film also stars Michael Rooker and Ariana Greenblatt is a refreshingly smart and funny post-apocalyptic adventure with some exceptional performances from its stars.
While Disney has certainly begun to wear out their live-action remake money-making scheme, Cruella is one of their more interesting ideas. Emma Stone stars as the titular Cruella de Vil, which follows the future puppy-stealing criminal during her early days when she dreamed of being a fashion designer, filled with ambition and determination. The film has earned itself a PG-13 rating, which is rare for a Disney film. In fact, it’s only the second live-action remake to receive one following last year’s Mulan. It’s now available to watch on Disney+ without the extra fee.
‘Count Me In’ (Netflix)
This documentary features some of rock’s greatest drummers, including Roger Taylor, Stewart Copeland and Taylor Hawkins, as they come together in an inspiring rhythmic journey about the power of human connection. From heartbeat to backbeat, caveman to techno rave man, rhythm has always driven our world. We take a journey with the players and the personalities; their influences; the music and culture; the beauty, energy and awe-inspiring skills that have shaped our rhythmic history and continue to inspire a whole new generation of players. From the advent of Jazz to the Rock and Roll, that morphed through the ’60s and ’70s, we explore the likes of Ringo, Charlie Watts, Keith Moon, John Bonham and Ginger Baker as they drove their rhythms across the world and changed music forever. You can have rhythm without music but you can’t have music without rhythm.
‘Cheap Thrills’ (Shudder)
The directorial debut of E.L. Katz, Cheap Thrills is a genuinely nasty and provocative film in the best kind of way. It follows Craig (Pat Healy, Compliance), a struggling family man who loses his low-wage job and is threatened with eviction. In an effort to delay facing the music at home, he heads to a local bar and encounters an old friend (Ethan Embry). The two friends are roped into a round of drinks by a charismatic and obscenely wealthy stranger (David Koechner) along with his mysterious wife (Sara Paxton). The couple engages the two friends in a series of innocent dares in exchange for money over the course of the evening, with each challenge upping the ante in both reward and boundaries. It seems like easy and much needed money, but the couple’s twisted sense of humor pushes just how far Craig and his friend are willing to go for money and cheap thrills.
‘Chaos Walking’ (Hulu)
Chaos Walking is based off a book trilogy of the same written by Patrick Ness; a young adult, high-concept science fiction saga set in a world where all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images and sounds. The film was originally set to release over two years ago, but was continuously pushed back by reshoots and the COVID-19 pandemic. In the not-too-distant future, Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) discovers Viola (Daisy Ridley), a mysterious girl who crash lands on his planet, where all the women have disappeared and the men are afflicted by “the Noise” – a force that puts all their thoughts on display. In this dangerous landscape, Viola’s life is threatened – and as Todd vows to protect her, he will have to discover his own inner power and unlock the planet’s dark secrets.
‘Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed’ (Netflix)
Bob Ross brought joy to millions as the world’s most famous art instructor. But a battle for his business empire cast a shadow over his happy trees. Beyond the iconic hair, soothing voice and nostalgic paintings lies a mystery that many have yet to discover. The documentary has already brought on a wave of controversy, as Bob Ross Inc. has since moved against it and called it “heavily slanted” and “inaccurate”. Check it out and decide for yourself.
‘San Andreas’ (HBO Max)
This 2015 action disaster movie stars Dwayne Johnson as a search and rescue helicopter pilot who experiences the infamous San Andreas Fault finally give, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake in California. He and his estranged wife (Carala Gugino) make their way together from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter (Alexandra Daddario). But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning. And when they think the worst may be over…it’s just getting started. The film reunites Johnson with director Brad Peyton and producer Beau Flynn, following their collaboration on the global hit Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
‘The Old Ways’ (Netflix)
Netflix often feels like it has a limited selection of horror but now and then it does manage to surprise. From director Christopher Alender, The Old Ways follows Cristina Lopez (Brigitte Kali Canales), a Mexican-American reporter who goes to her ancestral homeland of Veracruz for a story on witchcraft and faith healer. It’s not long before she’s kidnapped by locals who claim that she is possessed by a demon and they must exorcise her before they can set her free. As she tries to find a way to escape, she slowly comes to believe that they may be telling the truth. So along with her captors and estranged cousin Miranda (Andrea Cortés), her fight for survival turns into a fight for her soul. It’s a fascinating and intelligent horror flick well worth checking out.
CONTINUED WEEKLY EPISODES:
‘What If…?’ (Disney+)
The very first animated series from Marvel Studios, What If…? runs wild and plays loose with the sprawling cinematic universe that everyone knows. The series dives into the multiverse to show a variety of different timelines where major moments from the MCU play out differently, such as Agent Carter receiving the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers, Killmonger rescuing Tony Stark before he’s ever kidnapped by terrorists, and even an episode that involves superhero zombies. With a gorgeous cel-shaded animation style and an infinite amount of exciting and weird directions the show can go in, it’s sure to be a hit for Marvel fans. The first three episodes are now streaming.
‘Reservation Dogs’ (Hulu)
Created by Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo, Reservation Dogs details the lives of four Indigenous teenagers – played by D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Deverey Jacobs, Paulina Alexis, and Lane Factor – in rural Oklahoma. The kids steal, rob, and save in order to get to the exotic, mysterious, and faraway land of California, where they hope to find better lives. It’s consistently hilarious, moving, and eye-opening. The first four episodes are now streaming.
‘Slasher: Flesh & Blood’ (Shudder)
The anthology horror series Slasher – obviously inspired by the genre it takes its name from – has been all over the place. The original first season aired on the now defunct Chiller television network, its second and third season premiered on Netflix, and now its fourth iteration, Slasher: Flesh & Blood, is exclusively streaming on Shudder. This new season follows a wealthy, dysfunctional family that gathers for a reunion on a secluded island only to learn they’ll be pitted against one another in a cruel game of life and death, all while being stalked by a mysterious masked killer. Nothing is what it seems and no one is safe as the tension – and body count – ratchets up. The first four episodes are now streaming.
Also streaming now:
Netflix – ‘Boomika’, ‘Clickbait’, ‘John of God: The Crimes of a Spiritual Healer’, ‘Open Your Eyes’, ‘Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes’, ‘The November Man’, ‘The River Runner’, ‘The Water Man’, ‘SAS: Rise of the Black Swan’
Hulu – ‘We Broke Up’, ‘Disobedience’, ‘Feral State’, ‘American Horror Story (Season 10)’, ‘Vacation Friends’
Shudder – ‘Nothing Bad Can Happen’
HBO Max – ‘Lincoln: Divided We Stand’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘The Courier’
Disney+ – ‘Dan in Real Life’, ‘Underdog’
COMING NEXT WEEK:
Netflix – ‘UNTOLD: Crime & Penalties’, ‘Agatha Christie’s Crooked House’, ‘House Party’, ‘Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles’, ‘How to Be a Cowboy’, ‘Level 16’, ‘Marshall’, ‘Afterlife of the Party’, ‘The Guardian’, ‘Money Heist (Season 5 – Part 1)‘, ‘Worth’
Hulu – ’50/50′, ‘A Fish Called Wanda’, ‘Anaconda’, ‘Angel Unchained’, ‘At the Earth’s Core’, ‘Bull Durham’, ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’, ‘Cellar Dweller’, ‘Count Yorga, Vampire’, ‘Crazy Heart’, ‘The Dunwich Horror’, ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Election’, ‘Exterminator 2’, ‘Friday the 13th – Part III’, ‘Friday the 13th – Part IV: The Final Chapter’, ‘Fright Knight’, ‘Gattaca’, ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’, ‘Hitman: Agent 47’, ‘I Spit On Your Grave’, ‘The Interview’, ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, ‘The Manchurian Candidate’, ‘Magic Mike’, ‘Mommy’, ‘Office Space’, ‘The Omen’, ‘Phase IV’, ‘Raising Arizona’, ‘The Ring’, ‘Shaun the Sheep’, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘It’, ‘Sucker Punch’, ‘Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride’, ‘Vantage Point’, ‘Volcano’, The Wrestler’, ‘The X-Files’, ‘The Unthinkable’, ‘What We Do in the Shadows: Season 3 Premiere’, ‘Bolden’
Shudder – ‘Superhost’, ‘Carrie’, ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, ‘Lifeforce’, ‘The Haunting’, ‘Poltergiest’,
HBO Max – ‘Harry Potter’, ‘A Hijacking’, ‘Army of Darkness’, ‘Cloverfield’, ‘Dead Again’, ‘Drinking Buddies’, ‘Event Horizon’, ‘The Evil Dead’, ‘Evil Dead 2’, ‘The Forgotten’, ‘The Goonies’, ‘In the Heart of the Sea’, ‘King Kong’, ‘Lady in the Water’, ‘Mr. Nobody’, ‘Oblivion’, ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’, ‘Santana – Corazon: Live From Mexico, Live It To Believe It’, ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’, ‘Transformers’, ‘Adventure Time: Distant Lands – Wizard City’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘(500) Days of Summer’, ‘Apollo 13’, ‘Arachnophobia’, ‘Armageddon’, ‘Daredevil’, ‘Do the Right Thing’, ‘Heist’, ‘I Am Bolt’, ‘I Am Duran’, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’, ‘Jennifer’s Body’, ‘Nacho Libre’, ‘Planet of the Apes’, ‘Predators’, ‘Romeo + Juliet’, ‘Sicko’, ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, ‘The A-Team’, ‘Stuart Little’, ‘The Boy’, ‘The Descent’, ‘The Host’, ‘The Last of the Mohicans’, ‘The Social Network’, ‘Young Frankenstein’
Disney+ – ‘Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles’, ‘Dug Days’, ‘Tomorrowland’